From KSV to now Gen.G, the Esports industry is evolving everyday and so is Gen.G.
On May 1st, Inven Global was fortunate enough to meet up with CGO of KSV (now known as Gen.G), Arnold Hur. Arnold Hur has explained his undying passion to make a solidified gold standard for Esports. This change of not only the name but also the logo symbolizes the indepth process of creating a global standard for Esports.
Let’s dive right in to what Arnold has to say about Gen.G, Esports, and their upcoming training facility.
¤ It is great to conduct this interview with you, Arnold. Could you quickly introduce yourself?
Yeah, sure. My name is Arnold. I am the Chief Growth Officer here at KSV which is now known as Gen.G. I am apart of the ownership group at Gen.G. I am in charge of our operations on the Esports side as well as the marketing and growth of the company.
¤ First of all, let’s talk a bit about the change in the company name. Tell us a bit about why KSV decided to change their name to Gen.G.
It is pretty simple. We have expanded and changed our business. The catalyst was when we expanded into China. We now have a Chinese Esports team for a game called Clash Royale. In addition, we have our very first global Esports team in China. For the first time, you have a Korean headquarters company really expanding not just here but also into China. We started with Korea Silicon Valley (KSV). Later, we started looking at what cities we were in after 7 months. It was Seoul, Shanghai, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. We realized that we couldn’t call our company Korea Silicon Valley Los Angeles, so we had to think of a new name. Something that we knew we were excited about.
We really thought hard on what we wanted our name to be. We consulted a lot of people. It actually ended up on Gen.G. I’ll talk a little bit about the name. Gen.G is short for Generation Gaming. The reason why we chose Generation Gaming is because in this very generation, gaming is being redefined. The potential for what gaming is in Esports is completely changing. It is shattering people’s expectations. We concluded that this was happening now, in this generation. And so, we wanted to signify this the same way there is GenX or Baby Boomer. We really felt like this was Gen.G. This generation is really the generation that will define what gaming is going to be in the future. Alongside the new name, we have also created a new logo.
¤ I realized that the logo has been purposely placed to signify ‘GG’. Could you walk us through more on the new logo?
Yeah, there are actually a couple of things. All of our teams, except for our Seoul Dynasty team, will be playing as Gen.G. So our League of Legends team, our Heroes of the Storm team, our Clash team in China, and our PUBG teams. Our PUBG teams, in addition to our NTT and Cless, will be black and gold. We chose black and gold because these were the colors that we always loved. Even when choosing our Seoul Dynasty colors, we already knew then that we wanted black and gold.
Secondly, we thought that signifying Gen.G as ‘GG’ for the logo would be pretty cool. ‘GG’ is a very important term in the gaming community and also crucial in a philosophical way. We want our players and champions to act gracious even in defeat. I believe you should be gracious and humble even if you are winning. This is a core value that we have.
Another cool part we have here is, if you look at the white portion of the logo, you can see it resembles a sword. In process of creating the logo, we really wanted to put in some easter eggs into it as well. The sword symbolizes ‘the carry’. If you look at the logo on the side, you can see it resembles a shield. This is to represent ‘the tank’. Now if you look at the logo as a whole, you can see it looks similar to a heart. This represents ‘the support’. When you look at our logo, it represent the 3 core roles in Esports.
Overall, this is how we created our new name and logo.
¤ Since the change from KSV to Gen.G, what has changed in terms of your reason, how you operate, and your goals?
I believe our goal has not changed. We just wanted to very clearly define it. We have this one sentence we always like to say. The sentence goes ‘What we want to establish and what we hope to build.’. I don’t believe we are quite there yet, but we hope to build something like this in the future. We aim to become the gold standard for Esports. Gold means a lot of things such as winning gold and becoming champions. However, it also means doing things in new and better ways in which other people have not seen yet. For instance, we are now announcing that we are building a training facility. The training facility will be in the middle of Seoul, and we are going to change the model of Esports in Korea.
For the first time, players will not be playing and sleeping in the same building. They will be actually practicing at a facility that we will be building. The building will be 7 stories tall. There are going to be a lot of fun things in there that we will want to keep a secret for now (laughs). We are going to have all scrimming and practice facilities for all of our teams in one location. The League of Legends team will be playing with the PUBG and HOTS teams, etc. We believe this is really important. This is because the current standard is all players play and live in the same apartment complex or house. We realized that if we want to elevate that and do better than that, we had to separate work and rest. It is extremely stressful to work in a place you rest.
Even though it will be uncomfortable for the players to wake up in the morning to go to work, we want to create some separation. Time away from the game is just as important as time in the game and practicing. We want to help create this separation in order to help players manage some of their stress. We realize it is going to be difficult for them to adjust. But in the long term, I believe it will be tremendous. Eventually, we want this facility to be recognized as ‘The Esports center’ globally. People coming to this place will think ‘This is the place you have to be’.
¤ Did you get any inspiration for building this facility?
Yeah. We toured a lot of the training facilities for traditional sports such as the facilities for the Lakers. We also looked at some at UCLA and other collegiate facilities in the west. Those were some of our inspirations but to be honest, Esports is very unique. We are going to try a lot of new things. For example, we are going to create an area where you can view your games on a big screen alongside a private PC cafe. This area will be a place where our employees and any guests will have the opportunity to play games together.
It is really interesting viewing the old methods from the new. When we were viewing our building, there was a huge space on the penthouse that we had no idea what it was for. It was super nice. When we asked, they told us it was the CEO’s office. That is not what we are about. It is not apart of our culture. We have a much more progressive and modern approach where I sit with my players and employees. That is our expectation. Our coaches work directly with the players themselves. We are not this scary thing that lives far away. Therefore, I thought it was cool that we were turning the previous CEO’s office into a PC cafe for all our employees. This is a way that we want to show people on how to do things. Taking care of people, not only our players, that really helps us make much much progress in what Esports needs to be.
¤ When will this facility be open?
You were waiting to ask that question huh (laughs)? It is probably going to be Q3. Right now we do have the place, but we need to build all that I said out. We need to debate on the design, construction, safety, etc.
¤ Is there anything you want to particularly say or add to before we wrap up this interview?
Yeah, of course. We have actually started global streaming. What we realized right now actually is that 90% of our fans are outside of Korea. We have started this thing where all of our streamers are now able to stream in Chinese, Korean, and English. Now when our players stream, they will have a translator there speaking simultaneously or even read the stream chat for the players. Right now, we are doing this only for English Overwatch streams. But soon, we will expand this to other languages and games. Oh and please cheer for our Clash Royale team. They are doing really well.
¤ There are going to be a lot of Esports fans reading this article. Is there anything specific you want to say to your fans who are looking at the new Gen.G?
The most important thing that we want our fans to understand is we are going to constantly try to improve every year. We know we are not at the gold standard yet. We are still attempting to live up to our expectations. They can be reassured that every year, we are going to make progress in order to get to that point. We want to be the gold standard for Esports, and we do not just want to do it here but globally. We are proud to have our headquarters in Korea. I hope our Korean fans are proud to see a team that is seen by the world as ‘That is a team I am a fan of as well’. The same way Manchester fans are proud of their team for the world, we want the same thing. We want to be the Manchester United for Esports.
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